The strength of this new issue of Military Strategy Magazine does contrast somewhat with the public discourse on current events in Ukraine, where the Kharkiv and Kherson counter-offensives are underway. It seems that the majority of commentators are, after six months of open conflict, still confused and unfamiliar with what large-scale combat operations look like. Yet, nothing seen in the 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War is new or has not been seen before in other conflicts. It isn’t even a particularly big war depending on the scale of measurements you wish to adopt. Given that we live in the information age, it seems somewhat ironic that truth is more elusive than ever before as it concerns actions and outcomes on the ground.
So what for military strategy?
It should be of use to the wider community that military strategy is being done, and being done on a scale large enough to admit insights and wider awareness. The problem is that most commentary is teetering on the edge of click-bait on the one hand and academic self-forgiveness on the other. Much of the conjecture about a war between Russia and Ukraine has not aged well. Nor have the descriptions of the over-hyped performance of the Russian Army available in many articles and essays extant online. We/they need to do better as the West emerges into a reality where it may not be safe to assume that Russia and, therefore, China cannot tie their shoelaces. Still, it would be equally negligent to imagine they can do so while running, as was done with Russia.
Strategy is a practical skill. It needs practice, and theory exists to explain facts, not conjectures. This edition, like all the others, contains some of the best writings on the chosen subject. We are never going to have too much quality.
William F. Owen
Editor, Military Strategy Magazine